The Long Road Back
No! The very idea of just quitting on Writing, had never been an option for me! For that matter to the best of my knowledge, just quitting hadn't ever been an option for my parents either! But given what had just occurred, the apparent loss of all my hard work, all seeming gone in a flash! Why not just Quit? I'd never really given that much thought before!
How could I have even entertained such a notion? I just couldn't!! Growing up the way I did, my parents made certain that I knew what my heritage was. Both of them had thoroughly and convincingly ingrained me with a love of it. All this Irish history impressed itself upon my psyche, so much so, that I would never forget my roots, EVER! To that end, my way of thinking, was completely locked in!
Now waiting until my son had his opportunity to weave his brand of computer magic, I rationalized where this ranked in the greater scheme of things. What I surmised was that this wasn't that serious an event. This certainly was not as devastating as the untimely death of my father had been. That was a change of life shattering proportions, especially when I was just seventeen.
Nor was it as life changing as my own near death experiences, the latest being my own heart attack a little over three and a half years ago. This was simply the loss of my life's output as a writer, poet and author! Was it Completely Unexpected?? That's an understatement! Damned Inconvenient?? Certainly!! Disappointing? Yes indeed. But was it Devastating? Not Even Close! The loss of my work was a personal tragedy to be sure but nothing that can't be rewritten, reworked or replaced!
It was as if the very notion of giving up on anything was so repellent that I didn't know how! Perhaps it was simply woven into the genetic material that formed my DNA. Those very chromosomes that created my genetic code. It was made from the union of those particular hereditary factors which were passed on to me from my parents.
Am I really genetically unable to quit? When I think about my upbringing,I remember well the stories , the examples and the events that prepared me for this life! I was the first born, the product of their love and the repository of generations of ancestors who had survived. Those who had withstood the countless wars between the clans not to mention the many invaders from far off lands.
Invaders like the Romans, under Julius Caesar, who tried and failed. Like the fierce Nordic Hordes of Scandinavia, who took the west and south but not the whole island. Brian Boru it was who united the clans and finally forced those invaders out of Erin! Still the Danes, the Viking raiders tried against the throngs of Celts, Gaels and Druids who had, until Saint Patrick, maintained the heritage and culture of the natives on this isle.
Yes it was that same Saint Patrick, who finally succeeded in subjugating those who were overwhelmed by the sheer force of his teaching,the eloquence of his words and the results of his passion for God that convinced them of the truth. He,it was, who created this land to be known as “The Island of Saints and Scholars!” However the submerged spirit of the Wild Gaels was only tempered not destroyed.
The domination of the Britons was the betrayal that caused the fires to once again ignite. It was the English government that brought out the best and indeed the worst in these Irish. Though subjugated, the Irish resisted, persisted and maintained their unique identity, if only in secret! It was their dream, their firm hope and desire to once again be a free and sovereign nation. So despite all the trials that befell them, they persevered.
The English dealt with the insurgents by first by martyring them, but that only created the desire for freedom to swell in their followers. Next they chose to exile them to the colonies. These prisoners were sources of free to have slaves or indentured labor in their colonies. Soon these persons found themselves in either the Americas New Zeland or in Australia. The Powers that were in force then used intimidation, incarceration and even death to maintain tight control of the native Irish.
Then the Troubles were visited upon the ones who had weathered everything else up until that point in history. It is said that History is written by the ones in power but facts are irrefutable in the final analysis. The fact is that the Potato Famine was the worst natural disaster that led to the virtual decimation of the Irish nation. Great Britain did nothing but abandoned them, allowed them to starve, then systematically evicted those souls who had dared survive the potato famine's worst.
It was that period of Irish history that galvanized the indomitable will of those survivors to begin the long road back from that hell on Earth! It was that period that planted the seeds that would grow into the brotherhood that would eventually set their beloved country free. These survivors were the roots that the shamrock feed on and the strength of a people who would be known for their stubbornness, tenacity and fearlessness. From this stock came my parents and they are Irish!
Both my mother and my father were Irish born and bred. Both were fiercely proud of their individual family histories. Both of them felt their own individual counties their provinces and their part of Ireland was the best. So why leave it I'd asked them. Wasn't that Quitting? My father explained it this way! The land like the rest of Europe, had been ravaged with poverty, hard times and little hope to achieve something better if they stayed! Survival demanded action!
The North American Dream was beckoning to those hardy souls willing to listen to its enchanting songs. They both had relatives abroad in Canada and the United States. If they had made it why should he and my mother try! There was nothing stopping them, so they chose to dare, come and seek their fortunes in that New World!
The country of Canada needed strong, young and industrious immigrants to help it grow and prosper! To those willing to come, it offered jobs, stability and a chance at real prosperity for those daring enough to push themselves hard. My father took up the challenge and with a few friends, sailed from Ireland to Canada in nineteen forty eight. One year later my mother with her sister and first cousin also sailed to Canada to seek their fortune in the New World.
Whether by design or chance these two individuals met here. After a somewhat rocky start they fell in love, got married and established their union to each other. That resulted in a life which resulted in a family! My Family! The long and short of it is that I had two siblings, of which only one remains! I could go on and on. But should I? No! That I'll leave for another time perhaps.
Had enough of this history lesson?? I sure have!! Let's get back to the present shall we? Ah Yes, the present. The dreaded outcome of my son's foray into the salvaging of my hard drive was the following. The forensic outcome revealed that the drive had become horribly corrupted and the only items that had been resurrected were ANSI codes, some titles and a mass of garbled bits and pieces that were all that remained of my library!
“Sorry Dad!” My son said as he returned a few copied flash drives and my computer. “I did what I could!” He explained as he showed me the various pendrives with the salvaged remnants on them! “Thank's Son! I know that you did your best for me!” I said as I gazed at the remains. There it was! The object of my hopes and my fears. The computer looked no different, with its freshly formatted hard drive ready and waiting for whatever way my creative imagination chose to write.
With a sigh, I fingered the keys, turned the beast on, Watched the screen come t6o life and entered the familiar responses to the menu options. Yes I would write again! Yes there would be rewrites, the stories reworked and yes it would be hard but then I am a writer and No I Don't Quit, Not Now anyway! The stories will be back as will I, friends!
Thanks for reading and for your friendship! That completes this piece and now my dear readers, you know the rest of the story!
(Aka Professor M)